It is always a challenge in genealogy deciding how to handle unsavory characters. Every family has a dissolute uncle or eccentric cousin somewhere in its lines, perhaps even the odd horse-thief. Few genealogists, however, find themselves researching a family as unrelentingly disgraceful as that of Seymour T. Day. This may be because the descendants of such families are not generally the sort to frequent dusty archives, or if they are of a scholarly bent, they prefer not to look under these rocks, and so chose more pleasant hobbies, such as butterfly collecting.
Why indeed research such a family at all? Why not let them moulder on in the police blotters of the 19th century, thankfully forgotten by their descendants? This the reason: genealogy is the search for truth, and the truth, properly approached, can be instructive. There is a great deal to be learned from studying the lives of admirable ancestors--insights into history can be gained, and inspiration can be found in their perseverance, courage, decency, and faith. Lessons can, however, also be learned from the lives of ancestral misfits--about the importance of family, character, and individual choices.
It can be quite entertaining to read about the long-forgotten pecadillos of one's ancestors, and wonder time and again: "What on earth were they thinking?" It is important to remember, however, that at the time, their actions caused considerable pain to themselves and those around them. And in looking at such families, one can see that the sins of one individual may not only ripple through their own lives, but through future generations.
Now that you have been properly warned, you may, if you feel strong enough, proceed on to the story of the Seymour T. Day family.
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